Note about my Reviews

Dear Authors: The reviews in this blog are only personal opinions. I have absolutely no background in literature, writing or reviewing. I am a Librarian (actually a Library Technician for those who care OR know the difference) with a love for a good story. The opinions in the reviews are ONLY my OPINIONS. I am not commenting on the writers ability since well -- I am not a writer and never will be. If you are the author of any of the books reviewed here, my opinion is just that and not a judgment against you!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Fangirl's Guide to the Galaxy by Sam Maggs

The Fangirl's Guide to the Galaxy
by Sam Maggs
Quirk Books (Penguin Random House)
ISBN: 978-1-59474-789-2
Buy From Indigo

Description: Fanfic, cosplay, cons, books, memes, podcasts, vlogs, OTPs and RPGs and MMOs and more—it’s never been a better time to be a girl geek. The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy is the ultimate handbook for ladies living the nerdy life, a fun and feminist take on the often male-dominated world of geekdom. With delightful illustrations and an unabashed love for all the in(ternet)s and outs of geek culture, this book is packed with tips, playthroughs, and cheat codes for everything from starting an online fan community to planning a convention visit to supporting fellow female geeks in the wild.

The Good Stuff

  • Such wise beautiful advice
  • Chapter on Five Myths about Feminism needs to be read by everyone
  • Geeky Girl's Litany for feminism - a must read and a way of life my friends
  •  the privilege paragraph made me think - something we all need to be reminded about regularly
  •  Hilarious!
  • I think we should all follow "Wheaton's Law" - Don't be a Dick!
  •  Extremely useful (and entertaining) information regarding the Seven Kingdoms of the Internet (Must show these to my many non geek friends)
  •  Defining characteristic of Trekkies -  yup I have been known to have some of these characteristics - see also Whedonites (yup got the hatred of FOX network)
  • Appreciated the information on the geek subculture of Otaku, this is one subculture I know very little about
  • Excellent, practical information about geek conventions
  • Never heard of geekycon, but now really, really want to go
  • Fabulous introduction to new kick ass female characters
  • Found some new YA series that I am interested in checking out
  • Might let my non-geeky bestie take a gander at it, so she can understand more this part of me
  • Nice little gift for your fellow nerds
 The Not So Good Stuff
  •  Serious lack of Canadian references (I know, picky, picky)
  • Way too brief
  • More for the young geek than this old geek

Favorite Quotes/Passages

 "Your fandoms are like that: fiction, no matter the form, allows you to live a thousand meaningful experiences and relationships that you could never have in real life."

"Still, life is long, and (not to sound like your mom) tattoos are permanent."

"You wouldn't go up to someone in person in person and say horrible things to their face, so don't do it online, either."

4 Dewey's

I received this from Penguin Random House in exchange for an honest review

Monday, May 11, 2015

Seven Spoons: My Favorite Recipes for Any and Every Day by Tara O' Brady

Seven Spoons: My Favorite Recipes for Any and Every Day
by Tara O' Brady
Appetite (Penguin Random House)
ISBN: 978-0-449-01630-5
Buy From Indigo

Description: The much-anticipated debut from the author behind the popular food blog Seven Spoons, featuring distinctive, crowd-pleasing recipes; engaging, writerly essays; and the same stunning photography that has earned her website a devoted following.

Roasted Carrots with Harissa A├»oli and Dukkah. Plum Macaroon Cake. Chaat Tostadas. Roasted Peaches with Glazed Sesame Oats. Few food writers have such an insightful, intuitive understanding of flavor—or a more eclectic and inspiring range of culinary influences at work in their kitchen—than Tara O’Brady. Fewer still write with her trademark warmth and thoughtful prose, which Saveur describes as “like pulling up a seat at the table of an old friend.”

Seven Spoons is O’Brady’s remarkable and much-anticipated debut. In it, she shares more than one hundred of her best and most mouthwatering recipes—crowd-pleasing breakfasts like Blackberry Buttermilk Whole Grain Scones, weeknight staples like Everyday Yellow Dal, and terrifically inventive desserts like Roasted Grapes with Sweet Labneh. These elegant, flavorful, and wonderfully creative recipes, plus the show stopping photography, will have you heading straight for the kitchen to get cooking.

The Good Stuff
  • Exceptionally inventive and delicious recipes
  • Incredibly beautiful presentation
  • Wonderful use of fresh ingredients
  • Cover makes me drool -  unfortunately not a lot of fresh dates in Calgary
  • Enjoyed the stories before many of the recipes - makes it just a little more than just a cookbook - took me a long time to review this cookbook, as I read each and every fascinating sentence
  • Detailed index (yes I know, but I am a Librarian, dammit, and this is something I admire
  • A nice addition to the Intermediate to advanced chefs (yes that includes those who are not actually chefs)  cookbook collection
  • Very personalized and fun
  • Very user friendly
  • Never boring
  • Canadian
  • This is one cookbook you want to leave out on the table for everyone to peruse

The Not So Good Stuff
  • Way too many ingredients and steps for this busy mom 
  • Kids won't eat half of this stuff
  • Not enough pictures - I truly believe every cookbook should include pictures for every recipe

Favorite Recipes

A Burger Treated Like a Steak - Pg 92
Roasted Red Pepper, Almond, and Feta Salad - Pg 186
Baked Irish Mash - Pg 203
Caramel Apple Pie - Pg 221
Coconut Kheer with Bronzed Pineapple - Pg 230
Blueberry Poppy Seed Snacking Cake - Pg 236

4 Dewey's 

I received this from Penguin Random House in exchange for an honest review

Crime Seen by Kate Lines

Crime Seen: From Patrol Cop to Profiler, My Stories from Behind the Yellow Tape
by Kate Lines
Random House Canada
ISBN: 978-0-307-36315-2
Buy from Indigo

Description:      How does a farm girl from Ennismore enter a male-dominated field and become a top criminal profiler and groundbreaking leader? For Kate Lines, it started humbly, patrolling highways. She learned quickly that the best way to thrive was to keep calm, carry on and never lose her sense of humour. In what would be the first of many dramatic turns in her career, Kate traded in her uniform for a tight miniskirt and a leather jacket, becoming one of the OPP''s first female undercover officers.
     In 1990 came the opportunity of a lifetime: to be chosen as the 2nd-ever Canadian in an elite program at Quantico, Virginia in what was then the emerging field of criminal profiling. After 10 months of an intensive education in the intricacies of violent crime, Kate''s new skills made her much in demand back home. Over the years she was involved in a number of high-profile cases, such as the abduction and murder of Kristen French and of Tori Stafford and the disappearance of Michael Dunahee.
     Kate was an early proponent of ViCLAS--the Violent Crime Linkage Analysis System, and when she took charge of the new and massive Behavioural Sciences division in Orillia, she took over ViCLAS and turned the department into a hub of innovation. Kate was awarded a Governor General''s medal for being in the top 1/10th of 1% of the members of police forces that year. The following year the Canadian Police Leadership Foundation named her Police Leader of the Year.
     Always taking care not to aggrandize in any way the criminals whose names we may know all too well, Kate feels it''s much more important to focus on the courage of victims and their families. Kate is an unsung, groundbreaking Canadian woman, one of a kind in this country, with a unique, inspiring and fascinating story to share.

The Good Stuff
  • This incredible women has led a fascinating life. So strong and intelligent and worked her ass off in a good old boys field
  • Learned so much about profiling and so much more
  • As a Canadian it was interesting to read about cases I thought I knew so much about.  Really shows you how much we learn is biased and from the media's perspective
  • Hard to read about the victims and their families but respected her decision to deal less with the crime but more with the families and how how their lives were impacted
  • Once again brought forth the absurdity of the "Deal with the Devil" for Karla Homolka.. Still cannot believe that demon is living a life after what she did to those poor girls - oh and we all know she is just as guilty as Bernardo. Also was starting to forgive Lena Dunham for her insensitive comments on Twitter and to give her show a chance but - yup not going to happen, still cannot believe she could find humour in that situation (ok, off my soap box now)
  • Never knew about the case in Kirkland Lake, which is where my Mom was from
  • Impressed with all of the developments in profiling Lines and her colleagues had
  • Story about the kittens was hilarious
  • Wow had no idea that J. Edgar hoover was such a sexist pig
  • The creation of the "Christophers Law" still rips my heart out and sickens me

The Not so Good Stuff
  • Written very manner of factly and unfortunately you can tell she has no training as a writer. Comes across very choppy.
  • Not a lot of emotional draw - you admired her for her intelligence and her career, but at the end I felt like I knew nothing about her
  • Not very detailed and way too matter of fact
  • So much promise -- but it fizzles which is such a shame because it had the potential to be empowering

Favorite Quotes/Passages

"I had to be prepared to steel myself for it and manage the stress, to stay detached from the emotion of the open cases being presented, sometimes two or three a day.  I learned for my my mind and heart to survive and not to be haunted by the knowledge and wisdom my teachers imparted."

" Any spare time after our classes or consultations was spent letting off steam playing basketball or baseball -- pretty much always Canada against the U.S., with a few stray country ringers."

"Sheldon revealed what he regretted more than anything else his abuser had done to him. "He stole my love of hockey and I was never able to get that back."

"Christopher wasn't given a chance to be a lawyer, but the law that bears his name has gone a long way to save others from harm."

3.25 Dewey's

I received this from Penguin Random House in Exchange for an honest review

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Empire of Night by Kelley Armstrong

Empire of Night (Age of Legends #2)
by Kelley Armstrong
Doubleday Canada (Penguin Random House)
ISBN: 978-0-385-67201-6
Buy from Indigo

Description: Sisters Moria and Ashyn are the Keeper and Seeker of Edgewood. Or at least, they were. Their village is gone. Their friends have betrayed them. And now, the emperor has sent them on a mission to rescue the children of Edgewood—accompanied by Prince Tyrus and a small band of imperial warriors. But the journey proves more perilous than they could have imagined. With treachery and unrest mounting in the empire, Moria and Ashyn will have to draw on all their influence and power to overcome deadly enemies—not all of them human—and even avert an all-out war
The Good Stuff
  •  My god this women is a born storyteller (OK, I say this every time I read one of her books) 
  • She truly has a gift when writing her series to remind  you of what happened in previous books, yet not boring you if you have just read all of her books in a row
  • Strong female characters
  • Non Stop Action
  • Exceptional world building
  • Love her sense of humour
  • Love her wisdom and her way of writing strong female characters that teens can appreciate and learn from, but never done in a preachy way - bravo Ms Armstrong
  • Guin's story broke my heart
  • Dark, this author never treats teens like they cannot handle more adult themes (hold your horses Helicopter moms - there is no sex)
  • So imaginative and unique
The Not So Good Stuff
  •  Find the two sisters and their love interests too similar, hard to remember which is which
  • Dragged a wee bit
  • Damn you cliffhangers - I am not a patient women (Ok not a bad thing but hey, with Kelley Armstrong, you really have to dig to write something not so good LOL!)
 Favorite Quotes

"The latter would suggest an interest in politics, which would suggest a lack of interest in a long life.

"The problem with having treasure is that everyone wants it."

"That had changed once they were told that the emperor wished them to stay within the court walls until this matter was resolved ... and Moira learned  that the word "wished' meant something entirely  different when it came from an emperor."

4 Dewey's

I received this from Penguin Random House in exchange for an honest review